Splitting is prevalent among people with personality disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It can be simply defined as “all-or-nothing” thinking. They view the world from two perspectives…“all good” or “all bad”. Everything is perceived as “black” or “white” with no room for shades of grey.
Relationships with those that split are rocky at best, and tend to be very unstable and emotionally exhausting. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse that splits is extremely difficult. The other parent is often viewed in an “all bad” light, and the children thrust into having to choose a side. This is when “parental alienation” occurs.
Very Well Mind goes into detail on this phenomenon in their article “Splitting and Borderline Personality Disorder”:
Healthy, responsible people can get hooked into splitting
Even healthy, responsible people can get emotionally hooked into perpetuating this type of thinking, especially in high-conflict divorce. Have you ever been hooked by your ex…and what should you do about it?
Guilty as charged here! I’ve been hooked into this splitting in my own high-conflict divorce. It’s pretty easy to do when you have an ex who is constantly pointing the finger with a bunch of false accusations. Who hasn’t found themselves not only defending themselves, but then pointing the finger back with all the negative things the other parent has done? Do you ever include any positive qualities about the other parent in the mix? Of course not!
After all…this is EXACTLY how the family court system is set up! Someone is either “guilty” or “not guilty”. There is no such thing as “partially guilty”. Each parent gets caught up in the back-and-forth of trying to prove how great they are and how terrible the other parent is. Add high-conflict attorneys to the mix and you have the makings of a decade long shit-storm costing 100’s of thousands of dollars.
So…what the heck are you supposed to do about it?
The family court system is not really the best place to be arguing “parental alienation”, but what choice as a target parent do you have? Not much…but it can be done with finesse.
NEVER lose sight of what’s most important…the children. And, in my opinion, children should have a relationship with both parents. This is the stance from which a court should be approached. Parenting with a high-conflict ex is definitely challenging, but done right, your children can be taught valuable life lessons and critical thinking skills to rival no other.
We also have tools for parents to sort through any evidence they have to prove that their ex is trying to alienate their children, if this is the case. Our Behavioral Pattern Finder provides an easy-to-use digital timeline that highlights patterns of behavior in a series of documents that you provide to us. Having this in your back pocket gives you, as the target parent, piece of mind, and a valuable tool that can be used to help control your ex’s inappropriate behavior towards your children and other family members. It has even kept some parents out of the court room, saving them 1000’s of dollars.
This post was previously published on Pathwaysfamilycoaching.com.
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